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ICT Chiasma 2015 – Creative Currencies

10 - 12 February 2015

£20k Innovation Event – ‘Creative Currencies’

Date: 5pm, Tues 10th February 2015 – 5pm, Thurs 12th February 2015

Location: Technology Solutions Centre, RBS, 113 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5EB

Cost: 2.5 days committed engagement (food/accommodation provided)

Closing date for applications: 4pm, Mon 15th December ’14

The world around us is changing. Not only is connectivity and technological development moving at lightning speeds from laptops to mobiles and wearable devices, but the very money we use is changing too – from mobile banking to contactless payments, microfinance systems to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies offer a philosophical departure from conventional currencies, potentially radically reshaping the power structures of contemporary banking by sidestepping the need for traditional banking structures.

The Creative Currencies Chiasma will explore and ideate around emerging protocols and technologies, such as Bitcoin. This residential 2.5 day event will focus on how technologies impact and intersect and provide opportunities for technologists, entrepreneurs, and start-ups to converge with designers and academics to identify and create business ideas around changing models of banking, transactions, and currencies.

Design in Action has allocated up to £20,000 (roughly 69BTC) per team to prototype ideas arising from the Chiasma process into viable business ideas.

Cryptocurrencies have potential to affect all sectors and many applications. Here are a few key areas that are beginning to demonstrate critical mass and future growth potential:

LOCAL CURRENCIES: Local currencies, such as the Brixton Pound and the LETS Saint Exchange, offer ways to generate and retain money in a local economy, in some ways running counter to distributed cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, yet both are potentially empowering models. Where is the value and opportunities for businesses and consumers to capitalise on these markets?

BITCOIN: Cryptocurrencies can appear to be shrouded in mystery, with elusive ‘mining’ reminiscent of gaming, while the media is full of stories about illegal or Dark Net activities that make use of the distributed peer-peer network. Yet Bitcoin (a software-based online payment system), for example, is open-source – offering a new model for financial transactions based on trust, and maintained through its Blockchain transaction database, challenging the government-regulated fiat currencies that we all use today. How will Bitcoin and its successors disrupt conventional transaction models and how can Design ideate around these series of transactions?

FINTECH: The rise in contactless payments and mobile banking raises issues of security. Blockchain databases and reputable traders enable provenance and tracking of complex transactions and hash function that make up a Bitcoin, but workarounds are available to attempt true anonymous transactions. What are the potential implications for FinTech and how can developers and artists present and solve these challenges in experimental and thought provoking ways?

Design in Action is seeking individuals, organisations and businesses both big and small that operate in or have knowledge of the Scottish technology sector, such as programmers and security experts, games developers/designers, UX and HCI experts, producers, and software or hardware engineers. To support design-led innovation we also hope to move beyond these traditional boundaries, therefore we also invite individuals from further afield to engage with this process, including (but not limited to) service design, philosophy, business, marketing, economists, retail, activists, and social anthropologists.

We are very excited to be working with Royal Bank of Scotland who are hosting this event at their custom built Technology Solutions Centre. Cryptocurrencies are potentially game changing in the ways we will consider and conduct transactions, and the Technology Solutions Centre offers an ideal platform to think through these challenges.

See the ‘Business Opportunity’ section of the Call for Participants/Terms of Engagement document for more details.

Any questions about the Intellectual Property aspects of the Chiasma? Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions. If you’ve still got questions please contact Brian McNicoll to discuss.

To apply to attend the Chiasma, please complete the following form:

This Chiasma is now closed. If you have any questions related to this Chiasma, please contact us.